Ten things to do for $10 or less

How much fun can you have for $10 these days? Quite a lot if you know where to find it. From Melbourne Festival’s shiny new installation to a crafty cocktail, here’s the lowdown on the loose-change high life.

1. Mid-week margaritas at Hello José and the espresso martini happy hour at Melbourne Public. 

You’ll feel sophisticated at op-shop prices with a $10 cocktail in hand. A midweek margarita at merry Mexican joint Hello José on Wednesday or Thursday? Or an espresso martini at Melbourne Public during their extra-long 4-7pm weekday happy hour? At $10 a pop, why not both?

A cocktail in a glass with slice of lime on the side and salt around the rim

Try the $10 mid-week margaritas at Hello José

2. Cheap movie nights at Cinema Nova and Kino

Going to the movies is pricey – unless you time it right. On Mondays, tickets are $7 before 4pm and $9 after at Cinema Nova, and $8.50 all day at Kino Cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy millions of dollars in movie-making for peanuts.

3. Free comedy at Spleen

Comedy at Spleen is a Monday night stand-up session where newbies rub shoulders with the big guns. Seriously? Yes, we’re talking Wil Anderson and Eddie Perfect big. Entry is free, though a gold-coin donation is appreciated.

4. Tuesday night burlesque and comedy at Speakeasy HQ

Speakeasy HQ knows you don’t have to splash a lot of cash for a good time. Tuesday Night Burlesque and Comedy also features jazz, circus and sideshow acts: four hours of vaudeville-style entertainment for just $9. With happy hour drink specials and their tasty house nachos, it’s worth staying out on a school night.

A woman performing on stage with a hoop of fire

Speakeasy HQ

5. $6 pizzas at El Coco

Named after the palm tree planted in the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba in 1862, El Coco is a colourful bar with a reasonably priced, Cuban-inspired menu and great cocktails. You’ll find arancini and popcorn chicken for $9 but, best of all, the pizzas are $6 all day, every day. Anyone for the lamb pizza, topped with potato, caramelised onion, sour cream and tender lamb shoulder?

6. Swim at Melbourne City Baths

After all that indulgence you may need a little healthy living, but that doesn’t have to mean pricey personal training or wellness retreats. Swim at the beautiful heritage Melbourne City Baths for less than $7, and let the day’s stresses melt away.

7. Take a trip through the House of Mirrors

Two Melbourne artists have created a modern House of Mirrors on a grand scale that will delight and disorient in equal measure. No doorway, corridor or wall can be trusted in this immersive Melbourne Festival installation, constructed using 15 tonnes of mirrored glass. Whether for fun or personal reflection, a visit is $10 well spent.

An outdoor installation made of mirrors

Get lost in the House of Mirrors, here for the Melbourne Festival

8. Beer paddle at Hophaus

If you’re more of a beer kind of guy or gal, the tasting paddle at Hophaus is always $10. Choose four beers from the nine on tap and ponder a trip to Bavaria.

9. Coffee Cupping at Seven Seeds

In a coffee mood? One of Melbourne’s pedigree coffee roasters and retailers, Seven Seeds offers cupping sessions on Tuesday mornings for a $4 donation. Women for Women in Africa get the cash, and you learn about and appreciate several premium coffees’ body, sweetness, acidity and flavour.

A group of people standing around a table about to taste different types of coffee

Coffee cupping at Seven Seeds

10. Morning meditation at M Pavilion

Or, head to a free mid-week morning meditation session at MPavilion in the picturesque Queen Victoria Gardens. With a coffee before or after from Centro Espresso across the road, start the day right for less than $5. Runs Wednesdays in October.

A modern architectural structure in beautiful gardens

Start your morning with a meditation session at MPavilion in the beautiful Queen Victoria Gardens